ramblings from the noisedoctor

March 29, 2007

an unhappy and painful IUI

Filed under: clomid, family, infertility, IUI, marriage — noisedoctor @ 11:50 am

I wasn’t really sure how to title this posting. That was the best I could come up with. I previously posted that we were discussing (aka struggling) with the decision to have an IUI (aka artificial insemination) done. So, it was done, but not under the best of circumstances.

This one is pretty long, so I’ll just break it here. Suffice it to say, things haven’t been stellar in the household lately. We just couldn’t really reach agreement on the IUI. So, I gave my wife permission to have it done, even though I really didn’t want her to. [see the comment below for my change of the previous sentence to the following sentence] Eventually, I gave up trying to discuss it logically and rationally, and despite really not wanting her to have the IUI, I told her it was okay with me for her to go to have it done.

We would definitely appreciate continued prayer and support.

One thing I didn’t mention about last Friday’s visit to her “doctor” appointment. I say “doctor” because the doctor wasn’t even in the office. Nothing against the staff, but she had been told she would actually be seeing the doctor–which was a lie.

They spotted something in her uterus that no one had noticed before–what appeared to be a small polyp. The tech took pictures of it for the doctor. We discussed it a little. Given that my wife’s lining was thinner than usual (part of the reason for taking Clomid–to hopefully reduce her cramps if she gets another period) this may be why it was visible now and missed before. The tech also commented that it could have been “in the way” and preventing implantation.

Wow. That’s not great news by any stretch. Having a polyp in there and having to have it removed will be painful. But if that’s possibly what may have been preventing her from getting pregnant, it’s good to know.

This potential polyp became part of the IUI discussion. Her perspective was that this polyp could prevent sperm from swimming up to meet the eggs. For her, the polyp made the IUI more desirable. My perspective was that if you believe the polyp is preventing the sperm from swimming up there, then it would also prevent the implantation of any fertilized egg. That would make the IUI all the more wasteful. I also questioned whether the polyp would affect the IUI procedure–getting in the way of the instrument used to deliver the sperm pellet into the uterus. She didn’t seem concerned about that.

It basically came down to my logic versus her desire to do the IUI, however irrational it might be. Perhaps the Clomid enhanced that, perhaps it didn’t. Yet, for the first time during this journey I felt completely spent. I didn’t want to talk about it any more. I just wanted to forget the whole thing.

I’ve been feeling somewhat differently here over the past few weeks. One thing a good friend of mine (who along with his wife is going through nearly the exact same fertility treatment program) told me he prays for (and I have as well) is “God, we have the desire to have a child. Please give us a child, but not our will, but Yours. If it is Your desire that we not have a child, please take that desire from us.” Well, lately I’ve felt absolutely no desire to have a child. I have thought, “If my wife came to me right now and said she was pregnant, I’m not sure I’d be the least bit happy about it.” I’m not sure where that desire went to or what/who took it away. Am I just being selfish, fragile, and worn out and just given up hope? Or, has God done what I asked and taken that desire away? I just don’t know.

Anyway, back to the IUI. Over the weekend, I told my wife that I was just totally burned out discussing it. If she wanted to do it, fine. However, if we don’t conceive and continue seeing the doctor, I will not be in favor of doing any further IUIs unless the PCT shows a lack of sperm making it into the uterus on their own. I did also say that despite my initial desire to go to the office with her and make my “donation” there, that I would rather not go. She didn’t seem phased by that at the time. I think all she cared about was getting permission to have the procedure done.

So, Monday morning came and it started with a lot of tension. Given that the semen has a limited “shelf life” I was waiting until just before my wife left to go to the doctor office. She had made it clear that she was leaving at 8:30. I was checking email at my desk at 8:15 when she rather curtly said, “Are you going to make your deposit?” I replied that I would, I was just waiting a little longer. She responded even more curtly and sarcastically, “Well, I’m leaving at 8:30.” I told her that I was well aware of her departure schedule.

I got a call around 1:00 or so. She called and told me she’d be coming home late from work and was skipping lunch to make up the time from coming in late. Without giving me a lot of chance to respond, she blurted, “Aren’t you going to ask how it went this morning?” I said that I expected her to tell me, and I didn’t think I needed to ask. She said she had really bad cramping all morning but it was starting to let up a little but she was bleeding pretty heavily and steadily. She had called the office to ask about the bleeding and they said it was normal. I indicated that all of that was normal and in the information the doctor has on their web site about the procedure. I guess that wasn’t the right thing to say… She said that she was able to talk to the doctor about the polyp and he didn’t think it would interfere if she did get pregnant, but if she did not, he wanted to remove it early in her next cycle but it wouldn’t prevent her from taking Clomid again and continuing to try.

Dinner Monday night was pretty tense with very little being said for much of the meal. My wife did eventually start filling me in on what was on her mind. She said that she was still feeling horrible physically and emotionally. She was emotionally upset because she felt like she was “on her own” all day because I didn’t go with her to the doctor. She said, “I feel like I should be happy since we might have conceived a baby today, but I feel awful that you’re not behind id.
I did admit that I was a bit withdrawn and that I didn’t really want to go to the doctor since I didn’t believe it was the correct decision–and that I had made that clear over the weekend so it shouldn’t be any surprise. Prepared or not, my wife was really pretty emotionally distraught by the whole situation. I can understand it somewhat, but not really.

I’m sure she also wanted a whole lot more sympathy for the physical pain involved in the process. Try as I might, I couldn’t really muster true sympathy. I knew it would be painful for her. That was part of my reason to not go through it if it wasn’t necessary. But, that was her choice. To me, it’s about the same as when I come in from working in the garden and mention how much my back hurts. At best, I get no sympathy. At worst, I something like a sarcastic, “Well, that’s what you get for doing all that.” Should I have been able to put that behind me and feel sympathy in that situation? Sure. I just couldn’t really do it.

So, we’re managing. Things just haven’t been this tense since my wife made the first appointment to visit the doctor back in December against my request to wait until January.


  1. Hope you don’t take offense to this or think I’m attacking your wife. This is just all to familar to me. My hubby and I have been praying for a child for 5 years. I’ve prayed for the desire to be taken away too. And as of late I have lost all desire. And all of a sudden my hubby’s desire increased. To be honest I don’t think the Lord took the desire. I think I just became numb and fed up with it all. I can’t answer for you but this could be the same thing happening to you. What is going on with your wife and marriage is why God told women to submit to their husbands. No marriage will sail smoothly if that balance isn’t there. You are the leader and how can you lead if your follower is off doing her on thing. I’ve done this before or I wouldn’t mention it. It ruined a good year of our marriage. As for why she wanted the IUI even though it didn’t make much sense to get it at the time. Having a baby can become an obsession and when that happens it is easy to push God out of the picture and just focus on that one goal. I’ve done this and it got me nothing but misery. When having a child comes before your marriage it is time to take a step back. I hope she comes around and that you stand strong. I’m so glad God had mercy on us to keep our marriage even when I was ready to toss it out the door.

    *if this offends you. just delete it.*

    Comment by Thinking Out Loud — March 29, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

  2. I am not offended in the least. I am blessed that you took the time to write a thorough response. I struggle with the leadership issue. I want to be a kind and gentle leader and not be a mean and forceful sort of “you must submit” sort of leader. I agree with your assessment about my desire to having a child. It’s most likely numbness like you said. Month after month of “hoping” while trying to keep from getting hopes “too high” does take a little toll.

    Thanks very much for your comment. I do appreciate it. Best wishes.

    Comment by noisedoctor — March 29, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  3. I too don’t mean to offend you with my post. I only mean to help. But, I have to say (through my own experience in my life) that infertility is so difficult but is so much more difficult if the two involved aren’t on the same page. I hope that you make it to the same page attitude-wise because what I read in your post is not very supportive. Also, deep down, your wife has got to think it stinks that she needs your ‘permission’ to do the IUI. It should be a decision that you both accept. We don’t have to love or feel good about our treatments, but if we’re going to do them, then really DO them. That means doing your contribution at the office and, frankly, being more supportive of how it is for her. It’s happening in her body, it’s her hormones, it’s her on the table in a very vulnerable situation. It would probably mean the world to her for you to give her a little extra hugs and phone calls and attention. All of that effort will come back to you too. It just isn’t the same as a bad back. You both know that the stakes are higher than a bad back. Perhaps you can start a faith-based infertility support group…just an idea. But it does sound like you both need more support.

    Comment by imtina — March 29, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

  4. No offense taken. I appreciate your thoughts. Maybe “permission” wasn’t the correct word. Obviously she couldn’t do the IUI without me “participating” in terms of making at least a “donation” to the process. She wanted to do it (against the doctor’s recommendation). I didn’t want to do it. Finally I gave in and said it was okay for her to do it. That’s what I meant by “permission.”
    I agree that we should be on the same page with our attitudes. We were up until the IUI conflict presented itself. We do desire that to be the case. It’s just not happening right now. We have a very small support group now, just us and another couple from our church going through the same process. More support might help. I’m just not sure where/how to seek that out.

    Comment by noisedoctor — March 29, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

  5. Oh, I forgot to add a “thank you” for your comment about the sympathy. I’d never considered my hubby’s aches when thinking he should be kind towards me about my own. I’ll keep that in mind the next time he is hurting.

    Comment by Thinking Out Loud — March 29, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

  6. You are right in not forcing her to submit. Trying to do that will tear down more than it will help. As I’ve heard one preacher say, it is between the wife and God when it comes to submitting. The man is only responsible for leading and loving his wife. A great leader makes sure no one falls behind. Lifting her up in prayer is the best thing a man can do for his wife. God will speak to her is His own special way. If my husband tried to force me, I would rebel or do it grudgingly but when God opens my eyes to things and gives me the needed understanding and peace I stick with it to the end. I’ve realized that the less I submit the more my hubby struggles and that breaks my heart. I want to be the helpmeet God designed me to be. Still have a long ways to go though. Marriage is work but well worth it.

    (Ok, I’m leaving now before you kick me out. LOL)

    Comment by Thinking Out Loud — March 29, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

  7. Just a guess, but has your wife recently finished a round of Clomid? I am generally emotional while I am taking it but the really rough period is in the days after the round. Anything Hubby says (or doesn’t say) makes me unhinged.

    The important thing to remember is you are after the same end result, a happy healthy baby.

    Imtina is right, there is a lot of vunerablilty involved in fertility treatments. There is also the feeling that you are somewhat incomplete or disfunctional because you can’t perform the basic function of a woman. I’m willing to bet that there is an awful lot going on beneath the surface that she is just not able to express.

    While I completely understand where you are coming from with wanting to make logically and fiscally responsible decisions. (by the way I must say that I love Canada in three years all I’ve had to pay for is 20% of my prescriptions) When we discuss further options I am always the one talking about spending money on a “chance” instead of investing in adoption which is pretty much a sure thing.

    On the other hand you can’t expect her to make emotionally-charged decisions based on what is logical. And at the end of the day it is her body. The baby is something you will share but the “how” should be something she has some control over.

    I can see you put a lot of trust in God and look for direction on these matters. I am sure your wife has also prayed on this, is it not possible that God is guiding your wife’s desire and decisions?

    Sorry for the long post, I tend to ramble.

    Comment by Crafty Canadian — March 29, 2007 @ 6:34 pm

  8. are you seeing an ob/gyn or a rep. endocrinologist? I hope that with the polyp and the infertility stuff and IUI, that you should be with the RE. IUI can really help your odds of conceiving without much worry of higher order multiples. It worked for us.

    Comment by imtina — March 29, 2007 @ 6:44 pm

  9. Imitina: We’re seeing an RE. He’s not our ideal doctor (I posted about our initial consultation–it wasn’t all that pleasant), but we are okay with him. Her ob/gyn wouldn’t be able to do IUI. I don’t doubt that IUIs do work. I just question the reason for us doing one when the PCT results are great and the doctor (and the statistics) say there’s no real benefit in that situation. Given the pain, cramps, bloating, and bleeding that my wife went through, it makes me all the more convinced that it wasn’t the best thing for us to do.

    Crafty: You’re right. I don’t expect my wife to be completely rational about all this. I believe that’s why God designed marriage to have that male/female balance in there. I believe that we should both have input on the decisions regarding treatment. You’re right it’s technically her body. But I believe that in a Christian marriage, each other’s bodies become part of each other–so that it really isn’t completely hers anymore. It is completely possible that God is indeed leading her desire here. I weigh that very seriously. I also know that God wants us to be true partners in this, that He wants me to be the leader in this (not my idea, I’d rather “pass the buck” but the Bible tells otherwise), and God never sends mixed messages or contradicts Himself or His Word. So… That’s something I have to weigh as well.

    Thanks all for the interest and challenging me to think/pray more through this process.

    Comment by noisedoctor — March 29, 2007 @ 7:27 pm

  10. It’s good that you’re with an RE. Just know that you’re not alone. I hope that the polyp situation is addressed as well. I had a fibroid that was definitely preventing pregnancy for me and once that was removed in surgery, I had IUI and had a healthy pregnancy. I hope your fertility issues are a thing of the past very soon!


    Comment by imtina — March 29, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

  11. I just got a rather nasty comment on this post. It condemned me (and cast aspersions on all Christians, which makes no sense to me) for my use of the word “permission” in this posting–even though I had already commented once that it was a poor choice of words. I have now put a strike-through on that sentence and updated it to be more accurate to what I meant–not just my initial stream-of-consciousness posting.
    I deleted the nastygram comment. To the poster, if you’re offended, I’m sorry. If you want to post something in a civil manner and something directed at me and not every Christian in the country, I’ll be happy to approve it.

    Comment by noisedoctor — April 8, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

  12. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Comment by sandrar — September 10, 2009 @ 9:35 am

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